My DNA Test Results

My DNA Test:

I received a DNA test kit for Christmas and decided to take the plunge into genealogy-related DNA research. I submitted my DNA sample to the 23andMe Company and received my results two weeks ago. The results confirm some of my genealogy research but I am having difficulty interpreting the haplogroup information and comparing it to the genealogical documents that I found. Right now I am disappointed with the amount of information available from 23andMe to help me explain these results. I will continue to search the 23andMe website for a better explanation.

Below are my results and my understanding at this point of their meaning is based on DNA articles that I have found so far from other sources on the internet and not 23andMe.

My Ancestry Composition:

The results gave my Ancestry Composition as:

European – 99.9%

Northern European – 45.9%

  • 3.0% British and Irish
  • 2.7% French and German
  • 1.4% Scandinavian
  • 38.8% Nonspecific Northern European

Eastern European – 23.0%

Southern European – 2.0%

  • 1.8% Balkan
  • 0.2% Nonspecific  Southern European

Nonspecific European – 29.1%

Unassigned – 0.1%

The composition shown above seems to confirm my 50% Polish ancestry which I inherited from my mother. The above results may also seem to show my Hungarian ancestry which I calculate at 25% and I think contains both Magyar and Germanic ancestors.

I am confused when looking for Middle Eastern origins which should represent my Jewish and Gypsy roots. Both segments which I expected are missing from the Ancestry Composition shown above.

My Haplogroups:

I was given two haplogroups – maternal DNA and paternal Y-DNA haplogroups. The maternal haplogroup code definitely identifies my Polish roots and the paternal haplogroup code identifies by Jewish roots. However neither group helps confirm my suspected Gypsy ancestry.

Maternal DNA

My maternal haplogroup was identified as H16 and is the main indicator for my European ancestry composition. Haplogroup H is the most common maternal haplogroup in Europe and is found in about half of European population. H16 is a sub-group of the overall H haplogroup. It was only identified recently and I have not found any articles explaining its details and distribution.

Note that maternal DNA or mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is inherited from your mother and has contributions from all of your direct female ancestors. Therefore my maternal DNA was received from my Polish mother and not from my Hungarian side. The Gypsy (Roma) markers that I was looking for would be found in female descendants in another branch of my family. My suspected gypsy (Roma) great-grandmother was my dad’s grandmother and I think it would be difficult for me to inherit her DNA markers. If my understanding is correct, the gypsy (Roma) markers would be found in the female descendants of the daughters of my suspected gypsy (Roma) great-grandmother. There are nine female descendants in this group.

Gypsies (Roma) are thought to have originated in the Indus Valley which is now part of Pakistan and DNA testing results would show a small percentage of ancestry composition originating in the Indus Valley.

Paternal DNA

Our Y chromosomes are past down only through male descendants and as expected the paternal haplogroup identified in my DNA does identify Jewish heritage. My results showed the Q1a3* haplogroup which has been identified in a very small group of Ashkenazi Jewish men. This result confirms what I found in the rabbinic records and census records for my great-grandfather. The Q1a3* haplogroup should also be the paternal haplogroup for any direct male descendants of the two sons of my great-grandfather. This group includes myself and ten other living descendants. Note that my great-grandfather was born of Jewish parents in Hungary; he married a Roman Catholic and changed his name.

Note that the haplogroup Q is widespread at low frequencies throughout the Middle East, Asia and Siberia. Also the haplogroup Q is found at high frequencies in the Americas in the native Indian populations. The Q1a3a haplogroup is only found with native American Indians and although the markers may be close to my paternal haplogroup, the Q1a3* did not migrate through Siberia and Alaska to the Americas with Q1a3a. The Q1a3* group found its way to America only when Jewish men with this DNA immigrated to America.


Y-DNA of Ashkenazi Jews

The term “Ashkenazi Jew” refers to Jews living or whose “paternal” ancestors lived in the following parts of central and Eastern Europe: the Rhine Valley, France, Germany, Holland, Austria, Hungary, former Czechoslovakia, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.


4 Responses to My DNA Test Results

  1. Excellent blog post. I definitely appreciate this website.

  2. Catherine Bendixen says:

    Love the blog–I too am H16–so that should mean that we are related somewhere in the past. My DNA was done with Family Tree DNA–and my mix is 97% European (76% British Isles, 12% Scandinavian, 8% Eastern European and 1% Western/Central European. The other 3% is Middle Eastern/Northern Africa. Funny story, when I was in University many years ago, i was asked out by a man from Iraq–we went out a couple of times and he dumped me after he found out that I was in fact NOT of Lebanese descent (he thought I was). My fathers sides originates from Southern Europe–which I would guess that is where the middle eastern/Northern Africa comes in and Scottish/Channel Islands/English. My mother is English/Scottish–however, it is on my H16 that I have Polish Matches.

  3. Martin Toldi says:

    You’re not Roma or any type of Romani or Rom-related group. I’m actually Roma. I was born in Hungary and was put up for adoption by the state because of it. Multiple studies have revelaed that my DNA 1/3 Indian. (Also, I literally have documents from my country of birth confirming that I’m Roma, and I’m also very clearly a “Brown” person). Plus, anyone who says “Gypsy” is clearly not of actual Romani extraction. Most people who are half or more Romani (Roma, Sinti, Iberian Kale, etc.) have a very specific admixture of thing and show considerable Northwestern South Asian or Broad South Asian heritage (25% to 75%) and an an average of less than 15% Middle Eastern/North African (most different Rom-groups have people with 5% or less).

    • sszabados says:

      After I was able to analyze my DNA further, I found that I was not genetically connected to my great-grandmother who was Roma. I found through further DNA testing that a father listed on a birth certificate was not the biological father. I apologize if using the term gypsy offends you. However, gypsy is most often used in the United States to refer to the Roma people and I did not know any better at the time I wrote the post. Also, note that the term Roma was forbidden on official records in the 1800s. I found my ancestors described as “street musicians” which was used to describe the Roma.

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